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Dancing With Siva: Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism Paperback – October, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 968 pages
  • Publisher: Himalayan Academy Pubns; 5th edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945497970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945497974
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #754,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This almost encyclopedic "sourcebook" of Hinduism presents Hinduism, particularly Saivite Hinduism, from the point of view of contemporary Hindus. It uses the traditional four-line presentation, followed by 21-line commentary, to explain 155 points of history, doctrine, ritual, and practice. These explanations are supplemented by verses of scripture, extensive illustrations, a Hindu timeline, a children's primer, and charts. More than triple the length of the preceding edition, this work is accessible to non-Hindus. Highly recommended.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Scientific American

In the main body of the book, the swami concisely answers 155 key questions, ranging from "What is the ultimate goal of early life?" to "How are Hindu marriages arranged?" Other resources include a 40-page timeline, a 200-page lexicon of Hindu terms, a comparative guide to major religious traditions, and a primer for teaching religious principles to children. The book is enriched by extensive scriptural quotations and reproductions of Rajput art. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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This books covers everything I can possibly think of in Hinduism.
"mandylee8"
I heartily recommend this book without any reservations to anyone wishing to learn more about Hinduism.
Truth Seeker
Every topic is presented in a simple short topics which makes reading this book such an ease.
amer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is the best reference book I've seen on Hinduism. Can be read in daily installments over the course of a year, but is also open to browsing through it at leisure.It explains concepts in simple, yet in-depth terms, and has beautiful illustrations. More, it contains so much--a very complete timeline on Hindu history, a children's Hindu ABC primer, information on Samskaras (stages of life), and the best part: a wonderfully complete Hindu glossary. The Glosary alone is worth the price of the book. I have referred to mine time and time again. My understanding of the roots of Hindu beliefs have grown tenfold since buyting this book.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeff D. Thompson on January 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful work however you wish to grade it. For starters, it is beautiful- the artwork is exquisite and matches the subject matter superbly. The layout is friendly and lends itself to deep study or a quick read. There is depth of knowledge here and pithy sayings. Worth every single penny, should be read by followers of -every- religion. The comparative religion section summarizes all the faiths of the world simply and without judgement. It alone is worth the price of this joyful, worthwhile work.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "mandylee8" on December 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This books covers everything I can possibly think of in Hinduism. From marriage, to birth of a child, to different customs & traditions, to deities, worship, and theology. There is also an excellent sections where it gives an overview of all the major religions as well as spiritual groups. Its a hefty book, packed with information. A great read that will give you and excellent foundation in Hinduism. Seekers will love this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By amer on June 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book during my frantic search of a religion that could answer those long standing questions of life which have been bugging me for ages, and never looked back since.

This book presents almost every aspect of life from Hindu perspective, such as explanation of the soul, our purpose on earth, marriage and family, gender roles, social responsibility, death, reincarnation, and also an unbiased comparison of most other major world religions. Every topic is presented in a simple short topics which makes reading this book such an ease.

The views, stated in the book have very good explanation and reasons on why it is in such a manner. For example, reasons to be vegetarian, law of karma(good deed), praying to statues and why every human soul are unique. It allows readers to question and reason on each views before accepting them. The views in the book makes so much sense, and will certainly will give a good clear picture of the depth of hindusim and change anyone view that hinduism is merely praying to statues. I am most impressed that the book says hindus view all other religion with respect and they believe "The truth is one, but paths are many".

To call it merely another book is an understatement. It is the book of life! The 6th edition is the first part of the tri-book mastercourse by subramuniyaswami, it explains abt the fundamental of hinduism. His second book "Living with Siva" gives a practical approach on how to lead a hindu way of live and the final book "Merging with Siva" allows serious seekers to experience God himself throught meditation and yoga. Yes, Yoga, it is more than a physical & breathing exercise that have been practised by most western society without realising the true value of Yoga.

(...)

I would recommend this book to everyone, including the non believer, because this book is not only about believe/faith alone but more about way of life and guide to personally experience God himself.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. M. Graves on July 31, 2006
Format: Paperback
Recently, I began exploring ( but have not completed) Dancing With Shiva for my graduate work and found the author's brief explanations of the six schools of Shaivism succinct and helpful in my academic writing. Aesthetically the book is beautiful; each of the author's slokas and bhashyas are accompanied by lavish, full-page, color illustrations. There are also numerous quotes from many of the Hindu scriptures and a sizeable glossary of Sanskrit terms which I found quite helpful. The text covers a wide array of subject matters such as the true nature of reality and the roles of men and women in family life.
It is in the swami's discussion of male/female roles in the home and in the larger world that some readers may have some difficulty. In this catechism the author unequivocally states that women best serve society by functioning in the traditional role as caregivers and therefore should not work outside of the home. Conversely, the husband should pursue a career outside the home while the wife acts as a supporter of his success in the world. Despite what appears to me to be a dogmatic adherence to Hindu socioreligious conventions, the text is highly readable and vast and varied in it's discussion of Hindu, and especially Shaiva, religiosity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in learning about Hinduism THIS is the book. Easy to read and full of wonderful pictures, it is a guide that can be looked to again and again for encouragement and inspiration. It has a special section for sharing basic beliefs with children as well as a comprehensive Lexicon of terms and a guide to Sanskrit Pronunciation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Summerall on March 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Not only is this book an awesome guide to living, its got great pictures. Who could ask for more? :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Truth Seeker on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a student of Hinduism since many years, and have read most of the popular texts on the subject. I am also Hindu myself (a Vaishnava). I heartily recommend this book without any reservations to anyone wishing to learn more about Hinduism. It is written from a Saivite viewpoint (Saivism is one of the 4 major streams of orthodox Hinduism), but the authors take care to point out the information that is specific only to Saivism, and also compare their viewpoints to other streams, as well as to religions outside the Hindu family. A wonderful reference. Btw, the people who produced this book also publish Hinduism Today, which is another good resource.
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